LPR Reflux – What is it, And How to Treat it

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LPR reflux, another name for Laryngopharyngeal reflux, is a type of acid reflux disease that is different from GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease. This article will discuss the differences between the two diseases and will also provide you with information about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of LPR reflux.

How is LPR reflux different from GERD?

Many people wrongly confuse GERD and LPR reflux to be the same disease. To understand the difference between the two types of diseases, one will need to know a little bit about the anatomy of the esophagus and the stomach. The esophagus has two sphincter muscles that control entry and exit into it. The sphincter muscle on the top allows food to enter the esophagus while the lower esophageal sphincter controls the flow of food from the esophagus to the stomach.

When the lower sphincter muscle in the esophagus fails, the acid from the stomach will flow back into the esophagus, causing various discomforting symptoms. When this happens, the person is said to suffer from GERD. However, when the acids manage to flow up all the way up to the top of the esophagus in such a way that they even penetrate the upper sphincter in the esophagus, the person is said to suffer from LPR reflux.

What are the symptoms of LPR reflux?

Some of the most common symptoms are discussed below. Now, this may not be a thorough list. Everyone’s body is very different in the way it reacts to certain diseases. If you are suspicious that you might be suffering from LPR reflux, please seek a doctor’s appointment to have it professionally diagnosed. There is no substitute for a medical diagnosis.

Symptoms of LPR reflux

A person will have the persistent urge to clear their throat, throughout the day person will experience a constant irritation in their throat, similar to that of a tickling sensation patients suffering from the LPR reflux might have a persistent cough hoarsening of the voice is not uncommon. One will feel the urge to constantly bring up and clear out phlegm that will accumulate in the throat many patients suffering from an LPR reflux will often find it difficult to swallow food, water and even salivaSome might feel that there is something stuck in the middle of their throat one can also experience nasal drainage as a result of the LPR reflux condition person’s voice can sometimes crack or even become feeble, especially when the LPR condition is not treated in a timely manner in rare cases, patients have been known to experience a spasm in their voice boxWheezing is another common symptom that is associated with LPRLast but not the least, LPR patients will experience a symptom that is common with GERD as well, in the form of heartburn, a burning type of pain in the chest area

How is LPR reflux diagnosed?

A doctor will usually make use of one of the three popular methods that are used to diagnose LPR reflux. One is called a laryngoscopy, the other is called a pH testing method and the last one is called an Upper GI endoscopy. An upper GI endoscopy is usually the most thorough way to diagnose or investigate an LPR condition in a person.

How is LPR reflux treated?

Medication

Plenty of medication, both over the counter and the prescribed kind, can help a person deal with both treats and manage the LPR condition. Even if you are buying over the counter medication, it is highly advisable that you seek a doctor’s opinion before taking regular doses of medication that you just assume will help you out with this condition. The most common types of medication that are used are known as proton pump inhibitors, antacids and Histamine receptors.

Lifestyle changes                      

Changes in posture, changes in eating habits and even changes in clothing style can help a person overcome a LPR reflux condition. A person will be told to eat smaller meals, even if it means that they will eat more meals than usual. They will also be told to have their last meal at least three hours before bed time. Loose clothing is preferred, especially around the waist. Smoking and drinking habits will usually have to be eliminated as well. Exercise and weight loss can also help a patient manage or eliminate LPR reflux.

Dietary changes

Avoiding acidic foods is the easiest way to fight the LPR reflux condition. One will be told to avoid minty foods, citrus fruits and even chocolate as they can all boost acid production that can, in turn, intensify the LPR condition.